When Disney traumatized an entire generation with “The Lion King,” no one imagined that, decades later, the classic’s stunning music would be in the hands of a Latino. Now, Lin-Manuel Miranda is writing the original songs for “Mufasa: The Lion King.”

Alongside icons like Beyonce, the Hamilton creator has put his hands to work on the star-studded project.

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The film is directed by Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins. The voice cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumba, and Billy Eichner as Timon. It also features an all-new cast that includes Aaron Pierre as young Mufasa, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Tiffany Boone, Mads Mikkelsen, and Thandiwe Newton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the baton in a story with ‘incredible musical legacy’

Stepping into the shoes of the original songwriter for a film like “The Lion King” is no easy feat. Back in 1994, the film, directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, broke records. In fact, it became the second-highest-grossing film of all time. 

“The Lion King” featured artists like James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cheech Marin. However, its original songs were written by Elton John, and Hans Zimmer scored them.

“The Lion King has an incredible musical legacy with music from some of the greatest songwriters around. And I’m humbled and proud to be a part of it. It’s been a joy working alongside Barry Jenkins to bring Mufasa’s story to life. And we can’t wait for audiences to experience this film in theaters,” Miranda said.

Thirty years on, ‘The Lion King’ still thrills crowds

Three decades after Disney brought tears to our eyes with the story of Mufasa and his son, the company is once again thrilling us with a breathtaking trailer.

Long gone is the traditional animation of our childhood movies. “Mufasa: The Lion King” blends “live-action filmmaking techniques with photoreal computer-generated imagery,” Disney said in a press release.

In the new trailer, audiences can recognize Barry Jenkins’ trademark intimate close-ups, Rafiki’s goosebump-inducing voice, and even the iconic stone where the King of the Jungle sees his entire domain.

But for millions of Latinos, knowing that Lin-Manuel Miranda is responsible for the music for the prequel to such an important childhood story is something else. 

“Lin really leaned in and tried to find the places that Jeff Nathanson and I, the writer of the script, had tried to go deeper into the background of some of these characters in this film,” the director said. “He did a really, really wonderful job.”

“Mufasa: The Lion King” comes to cinemas on December 20, 2024.